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Two Premature Infants Die Associated With Bacterial Infection Outbreak in University Hospital

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NEWARK, NJ (November 27,2018)(CNBNewsnet)--As part of an ongoing outbreak investigation of a bacterial infection in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of University Hospital in Newark, the New Jersey Department of Health learned late yesterday that two premature infants with confirmed cases of A. baumannii died last week.

The infants contracted the infection six weeks ago and, due to other medical conditions related to being born premature, the bacterial infection may not be the cause of death. No new NICU infections have been confirmed since October, when the Department ordered an external infection prevention expert to guide efforts in the NICU.

A Department survey team is on-site today to investigate the hospital's internal notification policies, governance, and other factors that relate to reporting of deaths of cases during an ongoing outbreak. As of yesterday, the hospital's own infection control program was not aware of the deaths when contacted.

The Department first became aware of this bacterial infection on October 1, when two cases of A. baumannii were confirmed in the NICU. Two additional cases were confirmed in lab tests later in October. Of these four confirmed cases, three of the infants have died. On October 25, the Department reported in a press release that a premature infant who had been cared for at University Hospital and had the bacteria was transferred to another facility and passed away at the end of September, before the Department was notified of infections in the NICU. The fourth infant was discharged at the end of last month.

The Department ordered a Directed Plan of Correction on October 25 that required University Hospital to hire a full-time Certified Infection Control Practitioner to guide efforts. Click here for the Directed Plan of Correction.

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